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Simon Killer (2013)


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 36
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: Though its bleak themes may be off-putting for some, Simon Killer is an engrossing, effective character study of a brutal, enigmatic figure.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: Though its bleak themes may be off-putting for some, Simon Killer is an engrossing, effective character study of a brutal, enigmatic figure.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 962


Movie Info

A heartbroken American on a soul-searching trip to Paris finds his buried secrets clawing their way to the surface in this neo-noir thriller from writer/director Antonio Campos (Afterschool). Lovelorn in the aftermath of a recent break-up with his longtime girlfriend, American college graduate Simon (Brady Corbet) wanders the streets of Paris aimlessly, and drifts into a sex parlor where he encounters mysterious prostitute Victoria (Mati Diop). His emotions suddenly reawakened, Simon hatches a … More

Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Antonio Campos
In Theaters:
Sep 17, 2013
Box Office:
IFC Films


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Critic Reviews for Simon Killer

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (13)

Simon Killer is a sensory, experiential film - more of a state of mind than a straightforward story.

Full Review… | May 15, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Self-consciousness passing for style.

Full Review… | May 2, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

"Simon Killer" is a beautifully made look at ugliness and brutality, the kind of oxymoronic exercise that fascinates some and repels others.

Full Review… | May 2, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Another terrific performance from Brady Corbet, but it's in the service of a parade of horrors that never leads anywhere interesting.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
Top Critic

It is brutally raw and difficult watching.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The overall sense
of chilly disengagement becomes trying, and there's a last-minute switch that suggests that Campos is trying to have his croissant and eat it.

Full Review… | April 10, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

There's a highly engaging dramatic thriller hidden somewhere in this lugubrious, tamped-down Parisian nightmare.

Full Review… | July 12, 2013

Not for everyone, in fact generally disrecommended for anyone except those who admired Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Full Review… | April 27, 2013
East Bay Express

... a sexy, edgy character study that slowly draws you into its web even as it unnerves you ... a hybrid of 'The Talented Mr. Ripley" and, for its steamy lovemaking, the X-rated 'Last Tango in Paris.'

Full Review… | April 25, 2013

Simon Killer is as juvenile as the behaviour of its central character, but thankfully its weaker moments are reasonably scarce and for the most part the film is an interesting, if a little surface level, character study that is difficult to shake off.

Full Review… | April 14, 2013

Unpleasant, but not negligible.

Full Review… | April 14, 2013
Observer [UK]

Simon Killer leaves you uneasy long before you wonder if Simon will get caught or find a conscience for his crimes, both real and imagined.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
Paste Magazine

Although Brady Corbet is a compelling actor and succeeds at times in capturing an almost boyish charm, he's playing a nasty, unappealing and unredemptive character.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
Electric Sheep

For a horror film, this is unusually subtle and disturbing, rather than all-out scary, quietly profiling a creepy central character in ways that are designed to provoke the audience.

Full Review… | April 12, 2013

The performances of Brady Corbet as the taciturn American and Mati Diop as the sympathetic prostitute lend the film watchability ...

Full Review… | April 12, 2013
This is London

Brutal, nasty, unflinching. If you like that kind of thing.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013
Little White Lies

An artfully shot, po-faced thriller about an American graduate student going to pieces on an extended break in Paris.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013

Impressively directed and sharply written, this is a disturbing study in sociopathy with a compelling lead performance from Brady Corbet.

Full Review… | April 11, 2013

A refreshing departure from the current glut of slasher movies that make the mistake of thinking more gore can ever replace the feeling of icy dread that you've been played by a madman.

Full Review… | April 10, 2013
Sky Movies

Builds a quiet, creeping sense of menace, with a courageously unsympathetic performance from Corbet at its icy heart.

Full Review… | April 9, 2013
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Simon Killer

'Simon Killer'. A wonderful character study into a deeply-disturbed individual. Writing, acting, directing, soundtrack. Tick.


Super Reviewer

Following a rough break-up with his girlfriend, twenty-something New Yorker, Simon (Corbet) travels to Paris where an acquaintance, Carlo (Ronchi) has allowed him to make use of his apartment. Simon spends days walking the city, seemingly attracting negative attention from many locals. One night he wanders into a brothel where he meets prostitute Noura (Diop), who seems to show him more affection than is normal for such a situation. A few nights later, Simon is attacked by a group of youths (after possibly provoking them on purpose) and turns up at the brothel, telling Noura he has nowhere to stay. She invites him to stay with her and quickly falls for him romantically. It soon becomes apparent he's far from the innocent abroad she mistook him for.

Last year, Campos acted as producer for Sean Durkin's feature debut, 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'. Here, the roles are reversed, with Durkin producing Campos' follow-up to 2008's 'Afterschool'. Between the two of them, they seem to be forming a two-man American new-wave. While the rest of the American indie film community seems intent on boring us with dull "dramedies", Campos and Durkin ignore the restrictions of their budgets to give us low budget movies of a quality not seen since the Australian New Wave of the seventies. Like those Aussie flicks, their movies feel geographically unique; not quite American, not yet European, but borrowing the best elements of both schools.

Like 'MMMM', 'Simon Killer' is a "snippet" movie. Rather than a traditional three act structure consisting of a beginning, middle and end, we find ourselves thrown in at the deep end of the narrative. At first Simon appears to be a sympathetic victim of his own romantic nature, struggling to adapt to an intimidating alien city. It's a cinematic con-trick, deftly played by Campos and his committed, perfectly cast, leading man. Over the past decade we've grown accustomed to seeing Anglo-Saxons suffer at the hands of Europeans, be it physically ('Hostel'), psychologically ('Berberian Sound Studio'), or culturally ('Vicky, Christina, Barcelona'), but here Campos and Corbet flip things around. Early on, Simon appears to be suffering from mistreatment at the hands of Parisians, both aggressive males and apathetic females. As things progress, and Campos' constantly tracking camera begins to allow us to see his subject's face, rather than following him from behind to conceal his true nature, we realize Simon, not Paris, is the film's true antagonist.
Campos isn't a film-maker prone to spoon-feeding his audience, and his long takes (one unbroken static shot on a dance-floor is a stunning representation of Simon's coiled aggression) may well test the patience of less committed viewers. Those who appreciate a film which allows you to fill in the blanks will be richly rewarded. The American New-Wave has arrived!

The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

Convincing portrait/collage of a psychopath with a slow pace, Simon Killer is beautifully filmed and has a career best performance from a nuanced Brady Corbet. An excellent soundtrack and skewed visual style add to the strangely addictive quality the film. One if a kind, and not for everyone.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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